Understanding The Image – Line and Repetition.
A while ago on my film photography blog I started a section called Understanding The Image. Basically, I chose a photo and talked about what I thought made it an interesting image. It seems like quite a good idea to get that going again so I thought i’d post the last one I wrote which is all about lines and repetition. I’ll try and get another one up in a couple of weeks time.
Well for this instalment of Understanding The Image I am going to talk about the importance of line and repetition in an image. Unlike the previous Understanding The Image (doesn’t sound quite right if I abbreviate it) where I talked about what makes the image interesting in a more theoretical way, I am going to talk about what compositionally makes this image interesting. I have chosen this image to talk about because it isn’t a photo that exudes the capture of a great moment but more so is a nice image due to the way the person is framed and the elements surrounding the main subject.
First and foremost we realise there are three main elements in the image. Those being the subject, Ian, the rug he is lying on and the Point of Focus, his face.
The repetition, continuous line and pattern on the rug are what make this image. They add an element of interest to the image and make the subject contrast against the background.
If you look closer at the image we can see more repetition and line than what I’ve just pointed out. We see repetition in the shorts he is wearing, the blue, red, yellow and white stripes contrast against the blanket and the white shirt, further dragging our eyes in to the point of focus. You can see his arms, forming an ‘S’ like shape and framing his face which once again draws our eyes in to the crucial point of focus. Finally there is the silver cup on the bottom right corner, the yellow can on the top left of the image and the brown bag. They act almost subconsciously as balance in the image and as objects give us bit more of an idea of what is generally happening.
The soft lighting from the afternoon sun adds form and provides interesting shadows and lines throughout the image.
It’s important when your taking photos to take in to consideration the elements surrounding the image. Next time your taking a picture stop and have a look around your subject and see if you can use any of these elements and I guarantee you’ll end up with a more interesting and engaging image.